Blog Posts: Community Leaders

Center Attorneys Speak at MLK Day Celebrations

The Center was well-represented at Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations in Chapel Hill and Southport, North Carolina on January 20, 2014. Managing Staff Attorney Mark Dorosin was the keynote speaker at the NAACP’s historic celebration at First Baptist Church in Chapel Hill following a march down Franklin Street. Read Mark's speech (PDF). Senior Staff Attorney Elizabeth Haddix was the keynote speaker at the 20th annual Roundtable Breakfast program sponsored by the Brunswick County Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee at Trinity United Methodist Church in Southport. Read Elizabeth's speech (PDF).


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Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Thu. January 23, 2014 10:53 AM
Categories: Brunswick County, Community Inclusion, Community Leaders, Education, Orange County, Race Discrimination, Segregation

Al Corum, John Gresham speak on historic Free Speech claim against Appalachian State

Alvin Corum (L) and John Gresham (R)

Dr. Alvis Corum was a longtime tenured faculty member and the Dean of Learning Resources at Appalachian State University when he learned of a plan to relocate and split up the Appalachian Collection, a seminal collection of books, reports, music, and artifacts of the historic culture of the Southern Appalachian Region. When he protested, Dr. Corum was removed from his deanship and stripped of his administrative duties. Dr. Corum and his attorney John Gresham brought a successful free speech claim that resulted in a landmark civil rights ruling recognizing the right to bring claims directly under the North Carolina constitution.

The Center hosted Dr. Corum and Mr. Gresham for a "Race and the Law" event, where the spoke about the history of the case. Continue reading for a video of the talk.


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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Fri. January 4, 2013 9:59 AM
Categories: Community Leaders, First Amendment, Race and the Law Series

Halifax advocates mark anniversary of Center's report, continue struggle for education equity

Education advocates gather in Halifax, NC to mark the one-year anniversary of the Center's report and the county's renewed struggle for education equity

This summer marked the one-year anniversary of the UNC Center for Civil Rights’ report, “Unless Our Children Begin to Learn Together: The State of Education in Halifax County.” To commemorate this milestone, education advocates in the community held a press conference at the Old Halifax County Courthouse, where the report was first presented, to review what had been accomplished in the year and the challenges that remain to bring high-quality, equitable education to Halifax County.

At the press conference, CEES Vice President Gary Grant, speaking on behalf of the Coalition, called upon county and school elected officials, parents, teachers, and students to continue the struggle for equity: “We bear witness to the fact that the problems of poor and barely mediocre student performance at the three public school systems has not been addressed. Nor has the root cause, the continuing extreme racial segregation among the three school districts in Halifax County. The quality of education has been undermined on a county-wide basis for much too long at too great a cost to too many of our children.”


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Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Mon. September 17, 2012 4:17 PM
Categories: Community Leaders, Education, Halifax County, Leandro, Race Discrimination, Segregation

Community Leader Florine Bell walks students through Lincoln Heights, NC, Halifax Co. excluded community

Ms. Florine Bell outside an abandoned home on Branch Avenue in Lincoln Heights, NC

UNC Law students spent their Spring Break on the Wills Project, providing free wills, powers of attorney, and living wills for low-wealth clients in Halifax, Lenoir, Pitt, Avery and Watauga counties. The biannual Wills Project is sponsored by the UNC Pro Bono Program, Legal Aid, and the UNC Center for Civil Rights. Before meeting their first clients, students on the Eastern NC team were led on a walking tour of Lincoln Heights, and excluded community in Halifax County, by community advocate Ms. Florine Bell. Ms. Bell has been a minister and organizer in Lincoln Heights for several years and has spent her life fighting for economic, legal, and social justice in Halifax County.

Standing outside the Lighthouse of Deliverance Church on Branch Avenue, Ms. Bell gave a brief history of Lincoln Heights. Community Inclusion Attorney Fellow Peter Gilbert then gave an overview of community exclusion, the layered effects of disempowerment faced by Lincoln Heights, and the Center’s work there and in other excluded communities.

Continue reading for more pictures, student remarks, and a video of Ms. Florine Bell's introduction and Center Attorney-Fellow Peter Gilbert speaking about community exclusion.


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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Tue. April 10, 2012 3:56 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Community Leaders, Education, Environmental Justice, Halifax County, Heirs' Property, Law Students, Pro Bono, Race Discrimination, Segregation

Community Leaders: Maurice Holland, Sr. teachers law students about municipal exclusion and community advocacy

Midway community leader Maurice Holland spoke to UNC Law students volunteering at the Fall 2011 Wills Trip in Moore County, NC. Mr. Holland spoke about the challenges facing excluded communities and the history of the Midway community’s political and legal activism to get municipal services.

Maurice Holland Fall 2011 Wills Trip from UNC School of Law on Vimeo.


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Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Tue. December 6, 2011 3:24 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Community Leaders, Moore County

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